Case Studies

Case Study: Auto Insurance Coverage

Meet Madeline: We received a call from this 20-year-old young woman's parents.

The incident: Madeline had been involved in a head-on collision when a driver on their cell phone crossed into her lane. Both vehicles were demolished. Madeline suffered a head/brain injury and multiple orthopedic injuries.

The client's condition: When we met her, Madeline was lying in a hospital bed, and couldn't see us due to her brain injury. Her parents were beside themselves with panic and grief, especially when they found out that they did not have enough medical insurance to make sure Madeline would have the best recovery possible.

The false information: They were horrified and felt very guilty, even though they had done what their insurance broker told them was okay.

After Leaving the Hospital

Madeline spent weeks in the hospital and had to go home in a wheelchair. She required 24-hour care and had to live on the main floor of her parents' home, in a hospital bed with specialized equipment.

The care and equipment that Madeline needed were not covered by OHIP. It had to be funded through insurance and then loans, because they didn't have the right coverage.

The Importance of Auto Insurance Coverage

Protect yourself and your family. The insurance broker told Madeline's family "You're fine, you still have insurance."

Policy changes: The auto insurance policy that covered Madeline and her parents renewed two weeks before the accident.

Asking the right questions: Madeline's parents consulted their insurance broker about the auto insurance legislative changes that occurred on June 1, 2016 to make sure they were properly covered.

Broker's negligence: The insurance broker didn't explain to her parents that the minimum coverage had been significantly reduced as a result of the changes. The insurance broker only told them they were "still insured", so they didn't worry about the change.

Lawsuit against the broker: Our lawyers sued the broker for giving negligent insurance advice. In the meantime, Madeline's family had to take out loans for her medical care and rehabilitation expenses. Fortunately, after four years our lawyers were able to get Madeline a higher level of benefits.

The Conclusion of the Incident

The insurance broker should have explained the changes to standard coverage under the policy when it renewed, along with the different levels of protection available and how little it costs for much better coverage. It was important for Madeline's parents to understand that there would only be a fraction of the money available to pay for her medical care and rehabilitation if the were not properly insured.

Because Madeline has serious injuries, she had to use up all the money available under her minimal insurance coverage ($68,000) in just 8 months. If the insurance broker had explained to Madeline's parents that by purchasing optional benefits for an additional $200 per year for each member of the family, providing them with $1,100,000 in coverage, Madeline would have had much more of her medical care and rehabilitation expenses covered.

Madeline and her family would have been much better off if she had access to the funding for care when she needed. They were fortunate that we were able sue the broker for additional financial support, but they should not have had to wait four years.

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